Regulations for Uber, Lyft could be on the way in Fort Worth

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Fort Worth is joining dozens of other cities across the U.S. in considering regulations for ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.

Douglas Wiersig, the city's transportation and public works director, led a presentation in Tuesday’s City Council pre-meeting discussing the possibility of regulating app-based transportation companies.

Currently, Fort Worth does not regulate ride-sharing services. Wiersig said some of the considerations would regulate the age of vehicles used, how drivers are insured and how background checks are conducted on drivers.

Wiersig said he hopes to establish stakeholder-working groups by next week. Those groups will then meet two or three times before April when new regulations will be proposed to the council.

The presentation also looked at other cities across the country and how they are handling the emergence of ride-sharing services.

City Manager David Cooke said new ride-sharing service technology does pose the question of what role the government should play in regulating taxi-like services.

“Is this another area we should regulate like we’re regulating taxies?” Cooke asked. “Maybe you decide you need to regulate both, or maybe it’s an opportunity not to regulate either.”

Mayor Betsy Price said while the rise of services like Uber and Lyft is changing the way people move around, those services need to be safe.

“It’s a major shift in public transportation, and Uber is extremely popular,” Price said. “It's going to be market-driven, but it's got to be safe.”

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